The April 7 editorial “Waffling over Iran’s actions” was an attempt to undermine possible improvement of relations with Iran, one of the most influential nations in the Middle East. Iran certainly has raised serious questions about its intentions with the testing of a number of various missiles, but no outsider has examined them, and whether they are ballistic is moot.
The U.N. resolution’s call on Iran to cease the experiments is significant because it indicates that stronger demands would not have received approval. Other countries have doubts about the facts.
The editorial board also ignored the political and military realities in the area. For more than three decades, sanctions made Iran’s modernization of its armed forces exceedingly difficult. Iraq’s invasion of Iran and the ensuing eight-year conflict further weakened Iran’s military capabilities. In the same period, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries purchased billions of dollars’ worth of the most modern equipment available, and Saudi Arabia has passed Russia in expenditures on weapons. Also threatening to Iran has been the Saudis’ formation of an alliance of Sunni Muslim nations against Iran.
Iran can’t be expected not to defend itself.
Charles Naas, Silver Spring
The writer was minister counselor for
the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1978 and 1979.